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article imageFBI investigating laser attacks on planes in New York City

By Michael Thomas     Oct 22, 2013 in Crime
New York - The FBI announced that it is investigating two laser attacks on airplanes and pilots at LaGuardia airport. There has been a noted rise in laser attacks over the last year.
PIX11 reports that both incidents occurred on October 15. The first happened at 7:35 p.m. and involved Shuttle America flight 5973. In that instance, the plane was lit up by a green light on a final approach to LaGuardia. The sighting was reported six miles from the runway at 2000 feet, with the likely point of origin being a half mile from the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.
The second happened at 10:37 p.m., when a private craft reported a green light two miles southwest of LaGuardia.
No one was hurt in either incidents, though earlier on in the year several pilots reported burnt retinas as a result of lasers.
The Daily Mail reports that the FBI will be assigning its Joint Terrorism Task Force to lead the probe. The FBI is also asking anyone with information to come forward, with a reward for anyone who can contribute to arresting those responsible.
"Our paramount concern is the safety of aircraft passengers and crew," said George Venizelos, head of the FBI's New York office.
Laser attacks on inbound flights in New York have risen 17 percent so far this year. CNET reported that since 2005, laser attacks have increased by a staggering 1,100 percent.
The lasers used in these incidents are more powerful than laser points lecturers use. These lasers can be seen 25,000 feet away and are reportedly marketed as useful for pointing out stars in the sky as well as by birdwatchers.
The FAA has put up a website that describes the dangers of laser pointers on pilots and airplanes. In 2011, the FAA imposed a penalty of $11,000 for caught targeting planes with lasers.
Read more: Laser hazards in navigable airspace (PDF)
More about NYC, Lasers, Airplanes, FBI, laguardia airport
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